What You Should Know About Germs in School
August means back to school for many families, and both parents and children are busy preparing for a new school year. Shopping for back-to-school clothes and filling school supply lists are a top priority, but families should also make time to consider certain health issues as children prepare for a new school year with new classmates. The close contact between hundreds of children at any given school leads to an elevated risk of illness. Understanding those risks can help families take steps to protect their kids from getting sick, and the team at PrimeCare Urgent Care is here to help.
What is the Source of Most Childhood Illness?
Most childhood illnesses come from exposure to bacteria, viruses or a type of fungus. One of the most common types of bacteria is streptococci, which leads to strep throat. This highly contagious infection is a serious source of concern for schools, and school districts often require that notes are sent home whenever a classmate tests positive for strep. Staphylococci, or staph, is another common source of infection, although there are also many harmless strains of the bacteria. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci aureus, known as MRSA is a form of staph that has mutated to resist antibiotic treatment and is a serious infection that must be addressed immediately.
How do Schools Fight the Transmission of Illness?
Schools place a priority on the health of their students, and there are practices and procedures put into place to reduce the risk of illness. Teachers, administrators and support staff are consistently wiping down shared surfaces, encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently, providing antibacterial hand gel and taking other measures to keep germs at bay in the instructional setting. Teachers and others are also vigilant about scanning for signs of illness, and sending students to the school health professionals if and when needed. Most schools have rules in place about sending kids home when they are ill and requiring them to remain home until fever or symptoms subside.
How Can Parents Help Keep Their Kids Healthy?
Parents play a vital role in teaching their children positive health habits. This includes teaching kids to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and washing their hands for the appropriate length of time and with adequate levels of friction. It is also important to teach kids from an early age to avoid touching their noses, mouths and eyes unless such contact is necessary. This is an area where many kids struggle, but it is also the source of many transmissions of bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. Parents can also boost school health by keeping their kids home when they are ill.
At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of care to our youngest patients. If you are concerned that your child is ill, feel free to call us to discuss your concerns, or come in for a thorough evaluation. We are able to provide top-notch care to children in a setting that keeps them as comfortable as possible, and we are pleased to be the health care solution for so many families in and around Cummings, Georgia.